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By James McCartney, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

The first two decades of United States half cent production saw numerous design alterations, both purposeful and unintentional. Though several contemporary denominations exhibit similar diversity, half cents are intriguing in that these changes sometimes involved the often-overlooked third side of a coin, the edge. These distinct variations are both exciting and challenging for specialists of the series, and the 1795 half cent is certainly no exception. 

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

Believe it or not, there was a time in America when a half cent could actually make a purchase. At a time when Spanish-American silver coins were the backbone of circulating currency in America, a “bit” or one eighth of a Spanish Milled dollar was worth 12 ½ cents.